Today's Labour News

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coalSowetan reports that troubled former Gupta-owned coal mine Optimum Colliery in Hendrina, Mpumalanga, is still on its knees four months after being put under business rescue.  

The mine, one of two in the area formerly owned by the family, has struggled to achieve an improvement despite being run by business rescue practitioners (BRPs) since the end of February.  Last week employees took protest action following two months of nonpayment by the main subcontractor in charge of the bulk of the mining operations on behalf of the mine.  Employees gathered outside the company’s offices, barricading entrances with burning tyres while demanding answers from the BRPs.  One of the rescue practitioners, Louis Klopper, said it would take a while to turn around the colliery, which he said they had found it in a disastrous state, with millions of rands of profits having been “siphoned out of the company” every month.  He said although operations had improved, with exports taking place, restoring the mine was still a mammoth task.  Klopper indicated that they reached an agreement with one of their main contractors last week in terms of which they made payments that would help settle the employees’ May salaries.  The Optimum colliery was bought by Tegeta Exploration and Resources from Glencore in 2016, a transaction described as irregular by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

  • Read more of this Sowetan report by Isaac Mahlangu at SA Labour News

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